The Unexpected

We plan vacations and date nights. We save nickels and dimes for a special outing or a surprise trip. We put dates on a calendar and we let the anticipation build. We plan the details and dance from excitement to stress as we await the big moments to arrive.

Summer break.

Spring break.



A moment to breathe.

Friday night.

The season finale.

The next big thing.

We circle dates on the calendar with red permanent marker and hope the dreams come close to the reality.

Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t.


It’s Spring Break here. We’ve counted down for months. Charlie had a countdown going for months–a big event–for he and his friends. As the days approached I tuned into the weather.

Snow. Cold. Rain. Wind.

A change of plans. Wait until summer. Trust me, I told him, it’s going to be too cold. We woke up Monday morning to a blanket of fresh snow.

Beautiful snow. The most beautiful of the year.

It’s not the spring break we wanted, but it’s the spring break we got.

The next day. Rain. Wind. Gloomy skies.

Feeling trapped. Inside.

Thunder roared outside and lightning lit up the sky while we scrolled through beach pictures of friends.

We begin dreaming about the summer. Where can we go? What can we do? Let’s anticipate. Let’s plan.

Let’s circle dates on the calendar. In red.

Our fun time will come too–we just have to wait.

A glance out the window–flooded grass. Puddles everywhere. The thunder quiets.

One by one, the door opens and closes.

Chad and the girls head out first. To ‘check things out’ they say. I follow.
Charlie joins.

A moment of hesitation. The dogs stare out the door longingly. Chad and I glance at each other and have a silent conversation–is it worth it? They will need baths, it’s going to be a mess.

Chad and I stood back and watched. We needed this, I told him. He nodded in agreement.

Was it worth it? All of the mess. The mud. The extra laundry and paw prints etched in the floor.

It sure was.


Every night doesn’t go like this. Every moment doesn’t end like this. But Tuesday night in the rain reminded me that the unexpected is often the most wonderful of moments. It reminded me that the best moments don’t have to be planned or anticipated or circled in red permanent marker on the calendar. Tuesday night reminded me that on any ordinary day, at any ordinary moment magic can happen if I’m willing to allow it.


(In full disclosure, Chad bathed the dogs–saint that he is.)

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